Amritsar, December 3, 2016: An elderly couple, whose son is lodged in a Pakistani prison despite completing his jail term, is seeking “justice” from Pakistan’s visiting foreign policy adviser to get him released.
The Mumbai-based couple are camping in Amritsar, bordering Pakistan, with a hope and an appeal.
Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is visiting Amritsar to participate in the ministerial deliberations of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Sunday.
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Eight foreign ministers and dignitaries of 14 participating countries are attending the summit that would also see the attendance of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
“We are here just to get justice for our son who has been languishing in the central jail in Peshawar,” Fauzia Ansari, mother of a 32-year-old Indian national Hamid Ansari, told IANS.
She said Ansari was sentenced to three years in prison that he completed one year ago.
Carrying placards pleading for mercy for her younger son, she said she would display the placards on Aziz’s arrival at the Heart of Asia conference, along with her husband Nehal Ansari.
An emotional Fauzia said she had sent a number of petitions to Aziz, seeking an appointment to get her son released early but failed to get any reply.
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Her son, an engineer and business professional, had gone to Kabul in Afghanistan on November 4, 2012 on a tourist visa for a job in aviation. He entered Pakistan on November 12.
From his e-mail accounts, it was revealed that he was in touch with a Pakistani girl on Facebook and had gone to Pakistan, where he was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail.
The couple reached Amritsar on Friday.
“I would again appeal to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sartaj Aziz to release our son on compassionate grounds as he has suffered a lot,” Nehal said.
He said lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar of Pakistan was contesting his son’s case without charging any fees.
A habeas corpus was moved in a court in Peshawar. On January 13, the court declared the deputy attorney general of Pakistan had submitted a report saying Hamid was in custody of the army, tried by court and awarded a three-year jail sentence.
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Nehal said his son was neither given consular access nor allowed to talk to his family in Mumbai.
“Even we have not been given a visa to visit Pakistan to meet him and extend legal help to him,” an emotional Nehal said with wet eyes.
“From the day of his arrest till date, he has completed four years in jail. He was assaulted several times,” the victim’s mother added.
For the elderly couple, Aziz is the only hope for a reprieve for their son. (IANS)